Trachinotus Carolinus



Onshore, Nearshore

4 - 8 pounds

12" - 25"

Florida Pompano Game Fish Quality Very Good
Florida Pompano Meal Quality Excellent
Florida Pompano Fly Fishing Quality Excellent

Florida Pompano 

Florida Pompano 
Also Known As: Carolina Pompano, Cobblerfish, Common Pompano, Pompano  

Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Description

The Florida Pompano is one of the most prized fish in Florida. In appearance, Florida Pompanos are compressiform in structure. They are flat on both sides and appear tall and thin. The Florida Pompano has a short snout and it has a silvery, white-blue body with yellow fins. Its tailfin is deeply forked and all its fins are yellow in color. The Florida Pompano also has a short dorsal fin, being separated by six spines.

A Florida Pompano has around 20-24 anal rays. They have a yellowish underbelly but dark green-gray hue on their dorsal side.


Florida Pompano Diet and Size

A fish with a moderately compressiform structure, Florida Pompano usually slip through vertical crevices to find their food. Their diet usually consists of mollusks, crustaceans, smaller invertebrates, and fish. While feeding, Florida Pompanos usually travel in schools.

Florida Pompano can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm). Their average weight is around 1-3 lbs. Though, there have been some cases of an 8-9 lbs Florida Pompano being caught.


Interesting Facts about the Florida Pompano

  • The Florida Pompano is one of the most prized fish that they actually have a beach named after it is known as Pompano Beach.
  • Florida Pompano is commonly mistaken for the Permit because of their similar appearance.
    • However, Permits are wider whereas Florida Pompano is slenderer.
  • Florida Pompanos are expensive in restaurants because of their fillet.
    • Unlike other fish, Florida Pompano is evenly filleted.
    • Their texture is very similar to cotton and butter which is common for most of their species.
      • This fish is a kid-friendly fish as the bones are a lot less than most fish.
      • They’re also quite soft; if done right, Florida Pompano can have a nice buttery taste.
    • In Asian cuisines, Florida Pompano is stewed in soy sauce or oyster sauce with leeks as a garnish.
  • Their migration is often influenced by temperature but their local positions are affected by tides.
    • They will stay in the same place unless the temperature forces them to go deep into the waters.
  • Florida Pompanos have a short life span of 3-4 years. However, there have been some reports of an angler catching a 6-9-year-old Florida Pompano.


Florida Pompano – Fishing Techniques: How to Fish for a Florida Pompano

As a cousin to the Great Pompano and the African Pompano, the Florida Pompano has one thing in common: it’s a terrifying fighter when caught. As a member of the Jack family, it’s quite tenacious as a fish and will definitely give even experienced anglers a run for their money and the thrill.

When fishing for a Florida Pompano, anglers always said that having small hooks help. Because of their small mouths, having a big hook will definitely drive them away. On that small hook, make sure you have live bait. You can have small mollusks or small worms. Cut-bait works but live-bait are still the best when attracting this expensive fish.

Next, for jigs – the best thing to use is a brightly colored one, especially in clear waters. Similar to fishing for a Great Pompano, using yellow- or orange-colored jigs will catch their attention. 

When fishing for the Florida Pompano, the best time to fish for them is during the summer and fall since they usually move deeper into the water during the winter.


Florida Pompano Habitat and Distribution

Florida Pompanos like staying near the Gulf beaches where there’s an abundance of shrimp and mollusks. Sometimes, adult Florida Pompanos also move into bays. They like staying in surf flats and are commonly found near oil rigs.